If Albertans in B.C. think they have it bad, here's what's happening in Australia - InfoNews

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If Albertans in B.C. think they have it bad, here's what's happening in Australia

British Columbians aren't the only ones overreacting to visiting neighbours.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Wikimedia commons
August 07, 2020 - 7:00 AM

It appears British Columbians aren't the only ones treating their neighbours poorly through the Pandemic.

From rude notes left under windshield wipers to verbal assaults and smashed windows, some B.C. residents have given drivers with Alberta plates a rough time recently.

But such behaviour isn't just confined to B.C. as some Australian drivers have found out.

One Australian driver who crossed from the state of Victoria to South Australia to go grocery shopping had his vehicle sprayed with dog feces and the words 'Go back to Victoria' written on his car.

With a spike of COVID-19 cases putting much of the state of Victoria back under a strict lockdown, drivers with Victorian licence plates in other states are experiencing much of the same behaviour some of our Albertan neighbours get when in B.C.

READ MORE: Alberta resident frustrated with Okanagan responses to out-of-province plates 

"Some people think everyone from Victoria are infected with the virus, which is not the case," Brad Coates told Australia's ABC News after his car was sprayed with dog poop. Coates also reported being verbally abused by other drivers.

With travel between states largely restricted just for essential workers, one police department in Queensland reported a viral social media post that Victorian "caravanners" breaching border controls had caused "unnecessary hysteria" and tied up police resources.

"Just because someone sees a vehicle with a Victorian registration plate travelling down the highway doesn't mean to say that they should not be in the state," police Sgt. Geoff Fay told ABC News.

READ MORE: Revelstoke mayor asks residents to welcome visitors after Alberta-licence plate controversy

Australian media reports drivers with out of state licence plates being verbally abused, having their tires slashed, and rocks thrown at them. An unofficial "black book" of unwelcoming Australian towns has reportedly been set up online, so travellers can see which towns to bypass.

Australian media also reports a huge increase in residents living in southern New South Wales switching their licence plates from Victoria. Residents who move to New South Wales from Victoria often delay switching their plates as insurance costs are cheaper in Victoria, but with the negative connotations surrounding the recent outbreak, the New South Wales government recorded a 23 per cent increase in registrations shortly after strict border permits were put in place.

Meanwhile most would appear to not want to be associated in any way to the coronavirus, but one South Australian driver has obtained the number plate "COVID-19."

ABC News reports the South Australia's Transport Department has now banned the plate, although a little too late.

"It appears the number plate has unfortunately passed our approval process," a transport department official told the news agency.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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